Many people view it irresponsible to maintain populations of apex predators

16:26 31 January 2013

Cliff Carson, with new otter holt at Coldham

Cliff Carson, with new otter holt at Coldham

submitted

I READ with interest your article on January 18 regarding the building of otter holts by Cliff Carson of the Middle Level Commissioners.

It should be noted that many people view it irresponsible in the extreme to maintain populations of apex predators such as otters where there is insufficient food sources available in their natural environment.

In recent years since the reintroduction of otters and the building of otter holts there has been widespread decimation of fish stocks in commercial fisheries.

Considering the depleted fish stocks found in the Fen drain system it is inevitable that otters will go elsewhere in search of food.

Many fishery owners in the Fenland area are now familiar with the sight of dead carp on the bankside with just the carp’s tail and throat eaten - the tell tale sign of an otter kill.

Otters also feed on bird eggs and chicks, subsequently in some conservation areas it has been necessary to erect low-level electric fencing around water fowl breeding sites in a bid to stop otters decimating the bird population.

Before spending any more time and money building otter holts fitted with infra-red cameras, surely Cliff Carson and the Middle Level Commissioners should actually consider what the otters are going to eat.

BENJAMIN BAND

Via e-mail

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